More than a wee bit of joy as Scotsman takes top poultry gong at Melbourne Royal Show

‘Ecstatic’ long-term exhibitor wins Champion Bird in Show at 2023 Melbourne Royal Show

One very happy Scotsman can be found at the Melbourne Royal Show today after winning the pinnacle trophy in the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition.

Michael Paterson from Ferny Creek, Victoria took out the Gary Sheppard Memorial Trophy for Champion Bird in Show with his male Black Red Old English Game, pictured on left.

The ‘ecstatic’ exhibitor said after competing at the Melbourne Royal Show for 15 years, today’s win takes the cake.

“It’s a great honour to win and certainly he was looking quite nice, and the judges agreed,” Michael said.

“It was a fantastic competition, friendly atmosphere, and it’s so good having the poultry back at the main event and hopefully keeps encouraging other people to exhibit and not just keep them in the backyard.”

Michael began breeding and showing poultry aged just seven, following in his father’s footsteps. He has both exhibited and judged at various events across Britain, and began showing at Melbourne Royal Show in 2000 after moving to Australia.

The country’s finest birds will be on display in the Poultry Pavilion for the full 11 days of the Melbourne Royal Show. Michael encouraged everyone to enjoy the exhibits on offer and pause to admire one particularly special bird.

“The poultry fraternity can’t thank Melbourne Royal enough for inviting us back and we hope everyone enjoys the best poultry on display,” he said.

This year’s feature breed is the Australorp, an Australian breed popular in many backyards around the country. Australorps are known for their calm temperament and their impressive egg laying statistics. In fact, it’s said that an Austrarlorp holds the record for the most eggs laid by a chicken – one hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.

Judging was held on Wednesday, September 20, one prior to the Show opening.